Psychology 4873E 001 FW23

Addictions: Theory and Research

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.



LONDON               CANADA 

Department of Psychology 

2023 - 2024 


Psychology 4873E    Section 001 

Addictions: Theory and Research 





This course introduces students to major topics in the prevention and treatment of various forms of addictive behavior. The course also involves a structured community service learning component in which students will help addictions-related organizations meet their identified needs. This work will not necessarily involve direct client contact. 


Antirequisites: The former Psychology 3315E 


Prerequisites:Enrolment in 4th year in any program, although priority will be given to qualified 4th year Honours Psychology students. Registration is by special permission only and must be obtained from the course instructor in the Spring/Summer before the course begins in the Fall term. 


2 seminar hours, 3 placement hours. (This course has a service learning component.) 


Course Weight: 1.0 


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enrol in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites. 




Instructor:  Dr. Riley Hinson     

Office and Phone Number:  6334 SSC, 519-661-2111 ext 84649     

Office Hours:  By appointment 



Time and Location of Classes: Available on Student Center

Delivery Method:  In-person 


Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness @Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help. 



Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also contact Accessible Education at  or 519-661-2147. 


2.1 Online Learning Notice 

Please note: For courses delivered in an online format, include an online component, or are required to pivot online, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements. Some courses may also require the use of a remote proctoring platform to ensure assessments are taken fairly in accordance with Western’s policy on Scholastic Discipline for Undergraduate Students and Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students. Please refer to the course syllabus for further information. 





No required textbook 




The purpose of the course is to provide students exposure to both the scholarly literature and research related to many aspects of addiction.  From the placement, students are expected to gain experience as to how some of the ideas and concepts discussed in lecture unfold in settings providing addiction related services.   


By the end of the course the successful student should be able to: 

  • Memorize, describe and apply main concepts and principles related to drug use and addiction 
  • Locate and critically evaluate scholarly material related to real world challenges faced by those with drug use problems and those providing help to such individuals 
  • Communicate scientific information in oral and written forms that are accessible to those involved real world delivery of addiction services and treatment 
  • Critique information presented in scientific and popular media related to drug use and drug addiction 
  • Manage and deliver a project that is of value to a community organization involved in providing services to those with drug addiction, which would involve conceptualization, planning, coordination of efforts, time management 
  • Engage in reflection about drug users and those who are engaged in helping them to experience personal growth and to be able to more accurately inform others about drug addiction 
  • Recognize and develop own sense of commitment to civic engagement and social responsibility 



Learning Outcome 


Learning Activities 



Knowledge and Understanding 

1. Depth & Breadth of Knowledge 

Memorize (M), describe (D) and apply (A) main concepts and principles  related to drug use and addiction 



Class discussion 

Guest lectures 

Community project   


Oral Presentations of current news 

Contribution to Class Discussion (DA) 

Final Report (DA) 

Final Presentation (DA)  


2. Knowledge and Application of Methodologies 

Locate and critically evaluate scholarly material related to real world challenges faced by those with drug use problems and those providing help to such individuals 

Community project 

Classroom activity 

Oral/written reports 

Final Report 

Contribution to class activity 

Final class oral presentation 

3. Communication Skills 

Communicate scientific information in oral and written forms that are accessible to those involved in real world settings. 

Community project 

Classroom activity 

As assessed by setting supervisor 

Contribution to class activity 

Final Report 

 Final class oral presentation 

4. Autonomy and Professional Capacity 

Manage and deliver a project that is of value to a community organization 

Community project 

As assessed by setting supervisor (in consultation with course instructor)  




5. Awareness of Limits of Knowledge 

Engage in reflection about what you have experienced in the community settings 

Community project 

CEL logs 

Class presentation on reflection 

Class discussion 

Instructor evaluation of CEL logs 

Contribution to class discussions 

Final report and presentation 

As assessed by setting supervisor, in consultation with instructor. 

6. Autonomy and Professional Capacity 

Recognize and develop own sense of commitment to civic engagement and social responsibility. 

Community project 

Field  trips 


Class discussions   

Instructor evaluation of CEL logs. 

Final report and presentation   

Post course reflection session 






The evaluation and testing formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4.0 and are considered necessary for meeting these learning objectives. 


Topic Paper and In-Class Presentation  32 marks 

Each student will write a paper and make an in-class PP presentation on a topic of their choosing in consultation with the course instructor.  The topic may be related to an aspect of substance use/behaviour disorders.  Examples from previous years are: 

  • Psychedelic assisted therapy for SUD’s 
  • The role of spirituality in SUD’s 
  • The Default Mode Network in SUD’s 
  • Stigma related to people with SUD’s 

You should choose a topic which is of interest to you, and I will Zoom meet to discuss the appropriateness of the topic. There is no require length for the paper, but it would have to be comprehensive in coverage.  Papers has ranged from 10-20 pages, with most topics requiring the higher number of pages.  You will make a 50 minute in-class PP presentation based on your paper.  Based on the topics chosen I will make up a schedule for due dates and PP presentation dates.  I will try to sequence the topics in a logical order, e.g., papers on processes involved in development of SUD’s will go before papers on treatment.  In total, this component will be worth 32 marks.  Since some may do better with the written component compared to the oral presentation, and vice versa, 20 of the marks will go to whichever component you do the best on and 12 to the other component.   


Community Partner Project  35 marks 

Working with at least one other student, students will complete a project for their community partner.  The graded work will include a paper and may also include a poster presentation that will be part of the Honor’s Thesis poster session (the date for that is scheduled by the Honor’s Thesis course co-ordinator but is usually on the Friday of the last week of March).     

The write up of the project:  There is no specific format since it will vary by project, but it should use APA formatting (where appropriate) and should comprise a scholarly review component and a write up of the project. I will meet with each group during the second term to discuss the format of this written presentation—e.g., will it be like a review paper only, or a journal article, or some other format.  Note that this will be a group-based graded component, so each group will have to decide how the responsibilities will be assigned.  While no specific number of pages is required write-ups in the past have been between 20-40 pages (excluding references).  The written component will be worth 25 marks and the poster presentation will be worth 10 marks.  If the poster component cannot be done due to constraints regarding the Honor’s Thesis poster session, then the paper will be worth the entire 35 points. 


Almost all the community partner projects will involve components that may be considered “research” or “pedagogical projects” according to TCPS II definitions.  Accordingly you will be REQUIRED to complete the TCPS II Core Tutorial.  You will have to send me a copy of your completion certificate.  Here is the web site 


Community Partner Evaluation of Student Engagement  15 marks 

Community partners will give you points to a maximum of 15 based on their evaluation of involvement in the organization, participation, handling of any responsibilities, and conduct of project 


Attendance and Participation in Classes, Outings, and Field Trips  8 marks 

While there are no tests for this course, you are expected to attend all classes.  We will have guest speakers.  Attendance will be taken and will be used for grading purposes.  Attendance during sessions with guest speakers will be weighted more in terms of attendance marks.  In addition, and to the extent possible, we will try to go on several field trips and visits to sites in the community.  These visits almost always occur outside of class time.  It is expected that students will attend as many of these events as possible.  In order to receive the full 10 marks for this component you must 1) attend and participate in at least 90% of the classes and 2) take part in at least half of the outside-the-class events.  If you attend more than half of the outside-the-class events, you may earn bonus marks (i.e., it is possible to get more than 10 marks for this component).     


End of year reflection  10 marks 

One of the purposes of CEL courses is to encourage the student to reflect on what they have learned about others and themselves as a result of the community engagement.  This may be very distinct from any academic knowledge they have gained.  I hope you will keep a journal or diary throughout the year about any revelations you may gain during your placement in the community organizations.  At the end of the year you will be asked to think back over the year and share these insights.  That may be done as a written paper, a collage of images, an art piece, a video, a poem, a novel, or whatever form you feel best allows you to express yourself.  We may try to have a class devoted to this in a type of focus group discussion.  This is worth 10 marks. 





The Topic Paper and PP presentation, and the Community Partner Project paper and PP presentation, have to be submitted, otherwise a grade of zero will be given on these components.  If either is not submitted by the scheduled due date, an extension will be given, but a penalty of 10% of the value of the component will be subtracted for each 48 hour period, or any part thereof, the component is late. 

PLEASE NOTE: Because this is an essay course, as per Senate Regulations, you must pass the essay component to pass the course. That is, the average mark for your written assignments must be at least 50%. 


This course is exempt from the Senate requirement that students receive assessment of their work accounting for at least 15% of their final grade at least three full days before the date of the deadline for withdrawal from a course without academic penalty. 



The expectation for course grades within the Psychology Department is that they will be distributed around the following averages: 


70% 1000-level to 2099-level courses 

72% 2100-2999-level courses 

75% 3000-level courses 

80% 4000-level courses 


The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines, which are as follows (see: 


A+ 90-100 One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level 

A 80-89 Superior work that is clearly above average 

B 70-79 Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory 

C 60-69 Competent work, meeting requirements 

D 50-59 Fair work, minimally acceptable 

F below 50 Fail 


Note that in the event that course grades are significantly higher or lower than these averages, instructors may be required to make adjustments to course grades. Such adjustment might include the normalization of one or more course components and/or the re-weighting of various course components. 


Policy on Grade Rounding: Please note that although course grades within the Psychology Department are rounded to the nearest whole number, no further grade rounding will be done. No additional assignments will be offered to enhance a final grade; nor will requests to change a grade because it is needed for a future program be considered. To maximize your grade, do your best on each and every assessment within the course. 




Topic Paper and PP presentation 

30% 32% 

Community Partner Project 


Community Partner Evaluation 


Attendance and Participation 


End of Year Reflection 







The class schedule topics should be considered tentative and are subject to change.  I try to have guest speakers for some classes, and any class may be replaced by a guest speaker.  Also remember that each student will be making an in-class presentation based on their topic paper.  The date of those presentations will be in consultation with each student. 


Sept 12 Introduction to Class 

Sept 19 Community Partner Fair and Selection 

Sept 26 Professional issues and ethics in CEL courses--shared class with Psychology 4874E/3895E 

Oct     3 Guest Speaker(s)--Homelessness--shared class with Psychology 4874E/3895E 

Oct    10 Guest Speaker(s)--Harm reduction-- shared class with Psychology 4874E/3895E 

Oct    17 Overview of Drugs 

Oct    24 Zoom Meetings with student pairs to discuss project progress 

Oct    31 No Class-Fall Reading Week 

Nov    7    History of Drug Use  and History of the conceptualization of addiction and  


Nov   14    Addiction in DSM 

Nov   21   The Biopsychosocialspiritual model of addiction 

Nov   28 The Biopsychosocialspiritual model of addiction 

Dec     5    The Biopsychosocialspiritual model of addiction  


Jan     9 The Biopsychosocialspiritual model of addiction 

Jan     16 The Biopsychosocialspiritual model of addiction 

Jan     23 The Biopsychosocialspiritual model of addiction 

Jan     30 Zoom Meetings with student pairs to discuss project progress 

Feb       6 In class presentation of topic paper 

Feb     13 In class presentation of topic paper 

Feb     20 No Class—Spring Reading Week 

Feb     27 In class presentation of topic paper 

Mar      5 In class presentation of topic paper 

Mar     12 In class presentation of topic paper 

Mar     19 In class presentation of topic paper 

Mar     26  In class presentation of topic paper 

Apr 2 In class presentation of topic paper  





We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Attawandaron peoples, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. 


With this, we respect the longstanding relationships that Indigenous Nations have to this land, as they are the original caretakers. We acknowledge historical and ongoing injustices that Indigenous Peoples (e.g. First Nations, Métis and Inuit) endure in Canada, and we accept responsibility as a public institution to contribute toward revealing and correcting miseducation, as well as renewing respectful relationships with Indigenous communities through our teaching, research and community service. 




Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offences. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offences because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offence are described at the following link: 


As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offences. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and ( 


Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams will be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating. 


In classes that involve the use of a personal response system (PRS), data collected using the PRS will only be used in a manner consistent to that described in this outline. It is the instructor’s responsibility to make every effort to ensure that data remain confidential. However, students should be aware that as with all forms of electronic communication, privacy is not guaranteed. Your PRS login credentials are for your sole use only. Students attempting to use another student’s credentials to submit data through the PRS may be subject to academic misconduct proceedings.  


Possible penalties for a scholastic offence include failure of the assignment/exam, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University. 




Tests and examinations for online courses will be conducted using a remote proctoring service. By taking this course, you are consenting to the use of this software and acknowledge that you will be required to provide personal information (including some biometric data) and the session will be recorded.  Completion of this course will require you to have a reliable internet connection and a device that meets the technical requirements for this service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote Proctoring website at: 

In the event that in-person exams are unexpectedly canceled, you may only be given notice of the use of a proctoring service a short time in advance. 


* Please note that Zoom servers are located outside Canada. If you would prefer to use only your first name or a nickname to login to Zoom, please provide this information to the instructor in advance of the test or examination. See this link for technical requirements:   




Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 


If you experience an extenuating circumstance (e.g., illness, injury) sufficiently significant to temporarily make you unable to meet academic requirements, you may request accommodation through the following routes:  

  1. For medical absences, submitting a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner in order to be eligible for Academic Consideration;  
  1. For non-medical absences, submitting appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in their Faculty of registration in order to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate. 


Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation. 


Students seeking academic consideration: 

  • are advised to consider carefully the implications of postponing tests or midterm exams or delaying handing in work;   
  • must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hours after the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence 


Students seeking accommodation for religious purposes are advised to contact Academic Counselling at least three weeks prior to the religious event and as soon as possible after the start of the term. 




In the event of a COVID-19 resurgence or any other event that necessitates the course delivery moving away from face-to-face interaction, all remaining course content will be delivered entirely online, either synchronously (i.e., at the times indicated in the timetable) or asynchronously (e.g., posted on OWL for students to view at their convenience). The grading scheme will not change. Any remaining assessments will also be conducted online, as determined by the course instructor. 




In courses involving online interactions, the Psychology Department expects students to honour the following rules of etiquette: 

  • please “arrive” to class on time 
  • please use your computer and/or laptop if possible (as opposed to a cell phone or tablet) 
  • please ensure that you are in a private location to protect the confidentiality of discussions in the event that a class discussion deals with sensitive or personal material 
  • to minimize background noise, kindly mute your microphone for the entire class until you are invited to speak, unless directed otherwise 
  • In classes larger than 30 participants please turn off your video camera for the entire class unless you are invited to speak 
  • In classes of 30 students or fewer, where video chat procedures are being used, please be prepared to turn your video camera off at the instructor’s request if the internet connection becomes unstable 
  • Unless invited by your instructor, do not share your screen in the meeting 


The course instructor will act as moderator for the class and will deal with any questions from participants. To participate please consider the following: 

  • If you wish to speak, use the “raise hand” function and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you before beginning your comment or question. 
  • Please remember to unmute your microphone and turn on your video camera before speaking. 
  • Self-identify when speaking. 
  • Please remember to mute your mic and turn off your video camera after speaking (unless directed otherwise). 


General considerations of “netiquette”: 

  • Keep in mind the different cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students in the course. 
  • Be courteous toward the instructor, your colleagues, and authors whose work you are discussing. 
  • Be respectful of the diversity of viewpoints that you will encounter in the class and in your readings. The exchange of diverse ideas and opinions is part of the scholarly environment. “Flaming” is never appropriate. 
  • Be professional and scholarly in all online postings. Use proper grammar and spelling. Cite the ideas of others appropriately. 


Note that disruptive behaviour of any type during online classes, including inappropriate use of the chat function, is unacceptable. Students found guilty of Zoom-bombing a class or of other serious online offenses may be subject to disciplinary measures under the Code of Student Conduct. 




Office of the Registrar:   


Student Development Services:  


Psychology Undergraduate Program: 


If you wish to appeal a grade, please read the policy documentation at: 

Please first contact the course instructor. If your issue is not resolved, you may make your appeal to the Undergraduate Chair in Psychology ( 


Copyright Statement: Lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, outlines, videos and similar materials, are protected by copyright. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own educational use. You may not record lectures, reproduce (or allow others to reproduce), post or distribute any course materials publicly and/or for commercial purposes without the instructor’s written consent. 


Policy on the Recording of Synchronous Sessions: Some or all of the remote learning sessions for this course (if scheduled) may be recorded. The data captured during these recordings may include your image, voice recordings, chat logs and personal identifiers (name displayed on the screen). The recordings will be used for educational purposes related to this course, including evaluations. The recordings may be disclosed to other individuals participating in the course for their private or group study purposes. Please contact the instructor if you have any concerns related to session recordings. Participants in this course are not permitted to privately record the sessions, except where recording is an approved accommodation, or the student has the prior written permission of the instructor.